If you're searching for fair memories, or even fowl, you'll find them at the Emmet County Fair going now through Sunday.
Some things never change, like the smiles - and sometimes worries - of the 4-Hers showing their exhibits or livestock. Preparing animals for the show ring, meeting friends and anxiously awaiting to see who will be named fair queen and princess - those are just a few of the highlights.
Thursday was static exhibit day - when 4-Hers answered the judges' questions and learned how to do better - no matter how prepared they were.
Brianna Birkland showed her unique corner shelf made from a pre-1930s door to judge Elaine Palmer and helper Karen Hanson in the static exhibit competition during the first day of the Emmet County Fair Thursday. The fair runs through Sunday.
EDN photo by Michael Tidemann
And there was plenty of creativity.
Brianna Birkland made a corner shelf from a pre-1930s door sawn lengthwise and lined with shelves decked with flowers and momentos.
Natalie Lausen rebuilt and refinished a picnic table. There was an interesting story behind why she picked this particular table that was at Grandview Baptist Church.
"I was sitting on it and it broke," she said.
Pie makers extraordinaire Adrienne Rosfjord and Emily Herum wowed judge Roberta Hersom with their creations. And Hawkeyes fan Tala Wilhelms showed her true colors in her tied blanket.
Domanique Richardson had a popcorn plant for her exhibit while Alexa Springer had a unique clear cutting board.
Diane Nelson, judging buckets of flowers, said she asks exhibitors why they chose certain flowers and what they did to keep them healthy. She also asks them what flowers grow well together and what they need to do to have a good, healthy bucket of flowers.
A familiar face to many among the judges was Carol Peterson, former ISU Extension youth director for Emmet and Dickinson counties from 1974-79. In general, Peterson said 4-Hers need a goal and to be able to explain why they did a project and what they learned.
She also asks they what they will do with their project - and hopefully they'll follow through and enjoy it.
"It's all based on what their needs are," Peterson said.
"She's good about making children feel good about their project," said helper Belva Henrickson.
"She did get a lot of us 4-Hers started out on the right foot," said Colleen Enerson.
For Peterson, her return to Emmet County was enjoyable.
"The Emmet County spirit is just something special," she said.